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Iran Refining Capacity to Reach 3.5 Million Barrels, Shana Says

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Iran aims to double its crude-processing capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day, the Oil Ministry’s website Shana reported, citing the head of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co.

The government plans to upgrade and boost capacity at seven oil refineries, Alireza Zeighami said yesterday, according to Shana. The country can currently process 1.7 million barrels a day. Plants to be improved include those at Abadan, Shazand, Lavan, Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan and Bandar Abbas, Shana reported.

Construction of Iran’s new Persian Gulf Star Oil refinery will be completed by the end of the nation’s fifth development plan in 2015, according to the report.

Iran is trying to reduce its dependence on fuel imports as international sanctions over its nuclear program block foreign companies from doing business there. The country’s oil-refining capacity rose 18 percent in 2010, in the biggest gain among OPEC members, according to the 12-member group’s Annual Statistical Bulletin on July 18. Iran is the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, after Saudi Arabia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shaji Mathew in Tehran at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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